Over the past few years, I have discovered many inexpensive, natural solutions to pricey packaged products, which often contain toxic chemical ingredients.
The following super simple recipes utilize ingredients that cost pennies, many of which you probably already have in your home:
1. Grind together equal parts of raw oat flakes or groats plus almonds in a spice grinder, coffee grinder or high speed blender; rub on damp skin to exfoliate and nourish, then rinse with water and pat dry.
2. Olive oil mixed with salt (equal parts) makes a great DIY exfoliating and moisturizing manicure treatment to keep your cuticles free of dry skin and hangnails.
3. Apply olive oil to your face at night to moisturize (the oil in vitamin E capsules are also great); olive oil also makes a good body moisturizer when rubbed on still damp skin as soon as you finish your shower or bath.
4. Coconut oil is another excellent body moisturizer; it can also replace mouthwash due to it’s antiviral and antibacterial action – swish for 10-20 minutes, spit out (not in sink) and then scrape your tongue and brush your teeth.
5. Make your own remineralizing toothpaste by stirring together 1/4 c. coconut oil, 1/4 c. calcium carbonate, 2 T. baking soda, 2 T. granulated xylitol (which tastes sweet and is anti-bacterial) plus 1/4 tsp. vanilla or mint extract; another flavour option is to add several drops of an essential oil, like cinnamon or grapefruit. Store in a small glass jar. I like to save the tiny jam jars you get on planes for this purpose!
6. While you are in DIY mode, whipping up some deodorant is also easy! Mix 2 T. each coconut oil and baking soda plus 1 T. cornstarch or arrowroot powder. For a nice scent you can add a few drops of high quality essential oils. For both the deodorant and the toothpaste, warming the coconut oil (by placing it in a small bowl, then placing that bowl in a larger bowl containing hot water) makes it liquid and easy to incorporate the other ingredients. Pour into a small glass jar and cool for a creamy, solid texture. In summer, store in the fridge.
7. Preparing your own homemade eyeglass cleaner is another incredibly quick task. Simply combine water, plus an equal part of rubbing alcohol, with a couple of drops dishwashing detergent. Pour into a spray bottle, then mist your glasses and polish with a clean, dry cloth for streak-free results.
8. Get rid of toxic fabric softeners – instead, try throwing a few whole cloves in dryer (put them in a tiny, sheer fabric bag from the dollar store) to make your clothing smell nice; include some crumpled tin foil in the load to get rid of static cling!